Although the summer holidays are a time for fun for children, many parents do not like to miss the opportunity to educate their children. It can be difficult in the case of elementary aged children to think of fun activities that they can do during the summer that are also educational. However, as it is likely that you will experience good weather at this time of the year, this opens the door to additional fun, learning opportunities. Here are some ideas for a variety of educational activities for elementary children during the summer months.
As a family, it is likely that you will use the summer holidays as an opportunity to enjoy days out together. An ideal place to visit that will offer endless learning opportunities for your child is the zoo. This will give you the chance to discuss the different species of animals, their countries of origin, how they rear their young, their feeding habits, plus many more related topics. If you are not confident in teaching your child about these subjects, then use the information and facilities that most zoos provide. There is usually information about each animal at the side of the enclosure. Also, the majority of zoos give educational talks at set times throughout the day, so make enquiries on your arrival and plan your day around these. In addition to this, it is worth buying a zoo guide on your way in. Not only is this a good souvenir for your child, with lots of pictures for them to look at, it is also full of information and there are often fun quizzes or treasure hunts to complete as you make your way around the zoo.
Similarly, many farms are open to visitors and children will love the opportunity to pet and feed the animals. There are often educational talks aimed at younger children, taking the pressure of the educational side of things off the parents.
Inspiration for learning opportunities can also come from nature. The summer months increase the likelihood of good weather. With this in mind you can plan walks around nature reserves or plan a day trip to the beach. These settings will both provide excellent educational opportunities for elementary children. In the case of nature walks, you can discuss the different types of plants and trees and the different wildlife that you see along the way. You can also discuss with children how they can look after our environment. At the beach, the rock pools can be a good source of educational fun. Children love to turn over the stones and see what they can find underneath and parents can discuss these finds with them.
Simple activities at home can also be both fun and educational for younger children. Letting them help with cooking or having a crafts day at home both provide good learning opportunities. When cooking, you can teach the children about weight, measurement and temperature during the preparation process. With craft activities you can use the time to teach them about art, design, different materials and measurement. If you use items such as the cardboard centres out of toilet rolls or empty plastic tubs, you can also talk about packaging and recycling.